Publications of Frédéric BARON
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See detailErythroferrone and hepcidin as mediators between erythropoiesis and iron metabolism during allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
PIROTTE, Michelle ULiege; Fillet, Marianne ULiege; SEIDEL, Laurence ULiege et al

in American journal of hematology (2021), 96(10), 1275-1286

Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) brings important alterations in erythropoiesis and iron metabolism. Hepcidin, which regulates iron metabolism, increases in iron overload or inflammation and ... [more ▼]

Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) brings important alterations in erythropoiesis and iron metabolism. Hepcidin, which regulates iron metabolism, increases in iron overload or inflammation and decreases with iron deficiency or activated erythropoiesis. Erythroferrone (ERFE) is the erythroid regulator of hepcidin. We investigated erythropoiesis and iron metabolism after allogeneic HCT in 70 patients randomized between erythropoietin (EPO) treatment or no EPO, by serially measuring hepcidin, ERFE, CRP (inflammation), soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR, erythropoiesis), serum iron and transferrin saturation (Tsat; iron for erythropoiesis) and ferritin (iron stores). We identified biological and clinical factors associated with serum hepcidin and ERFE levels. Serum ERFE correlated overall with sTfR and reticulocytes and inversely with hepcidin. Erythroferrone paralleled sTfR levels, dropping during conditioning and recovering with engraftment. Inversely, hepcidin peaked after conditioning and decreased during engraftment. Erythroferrone and hepcidin were not significantly different with or without EPO. Multivariate analyses showed that the major determinant of ERFE was erythropoiesis (sTfR, reticulocytes or serum Epo). Pretransplant hepcidin was associated with previous RBC transfusions and ferritin. After transplantation, the major determinants of hepcidin were iron status (ferritin at all time points and Tsat at day 56) and erythropoiesis (sTfR or reticulocytes or ERFE), while the impact of inflammation was less clear and clinical parameters had no detectable influence. Hepcidin remained significantly higher in patients with high compared to low pretransplant ferritin. After allogeneic HCT with or without EPO therapy, significant alterations of hepcidin occur between pretransplant and day 180, in correlation with iron status and inversely with erythroid ERFE. [less ▲]

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See detailBalancing the CD38 Expression on Effector and Target Cells in Daratumumab-Mediated NK Cell ADCC against Multiple Myeloma.
Lejeune, Margaux ULiege; Duray, Elodie ULiege; Peipp, Matthias et al

in Cancers (2021), 13(12),

Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable cancer characterized by the proliferation and accumulation of monoclonal plasma cells in the bone marrow. The monoclonal anti-CD38 daratumumab has taken a central ... [more ▼]

Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable cancer characterized by the proliferation and accumulation of monoclonal plasma cells in the bone marrow. The monoclonal anti-CD38 daratumumab has taken a central place in the different treatment regimens for newly diagnosed and relapsed, refractory myeloma. In this study, we correlated the NK cell-mediated antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) and potential fratricide induced by daratumumab with CD38-expression levels on both effector and target cells. We show that CD38 expression can be modulated by adding all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) or interferon-α to MM cells to further fine-tune these effects. In addition, we observed that ADCC becomes inefficient when fratricide occurs and both ADCC and fratricide depend on the balance between CD38 expression on effector and target cells. However, the addition of adjuvants (retinoic acid or interferon-α) to myeloma cells or the inhibition of fratricide using a CD38-blocking nanobody on NK-cells can reverse this balance towards ADCC and thus promote lysis of target cells by ADCC. ATRA and interferon-α increased the CD38 expression at the surface of MM cells about three-fold and two-fold, respectively. This increase was of interest for MM cells with low CD38 expression, that became susceptible to daratumumab-mediated ADCC after preincubation. A CD38-blocking nanobody prevented the binding of daratumumab to these NK-cells and blunted the fratricidal effect on effector NK cells. In conclusion, our study highlights the importance of a balanced CD38 expression on target and effector cells and attempts to alter this balance will affect the susceptibility of MM cells towards daratumumab-mediated ADCC. [less ▲]

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See detailA non-internalised CD38-binding radiolabelled single-domain antibody fragment to monitor and treat multiple myeloma.
Duray, Elodie ULiege; Lejeune, Margaux ULiege; Baron, Frédéric ULiege et al

in Journal of hematology & oncology (2021), 14(1), 183

BACKGROUND: Antibody-based therapies targeting CD38 are currently used as single agents as well as in combination regimens for multiple myeloma, a malignant plasma cell disorder. In this study, we aimed ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Antibody-based therapies targeting CD38 are currently used as single agents as well as in combination regimens for multiple myeloma, a malignant plasma cell disorder. In this study, we aimed to develop anti-CD38 single-domain antibodies (sdAbs) that can be used to trace CD38(+) tumour cells and subsequently used for targeted radionuclide therapy. SdAbs are derived from Camelidae heavy-chain antibodies and have emerged as promising theranostic agents due to their favourable pharmacological properties. METHODS: Four different anti-CD38 sdAbs were produced, and their binding affinities and potential competition with the monoclonal antibody daratumumab were tested using biolayer interferometry. Their binding kinetics and potential cell internalisation were further studied after radiolabelling with the diagnostic radioisotope Indium-111. The resulting radiotracers were evaluated in vivo for their tumour-targeting potential and biodistribution through single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT/CT) imaging and serial dissections. Finally, therapeutic efficacy of a lead anti-CD38 sdAb, radiolabelled with the therapeutic radioisotope Lutetium-177, was evaluated in a CD38(+) MM xenograft model. RESULTS : We retained anti-CD38 sdAb #2F8 as lead based on its excellent affinity and superior stability, the absence of competition with daratumumab and the lack of receptor-mediated internalisation. When intravenously administered to tumour-xenografted mice, radiolabelled sdAb #2F8 revealed specific and sustained tumour retention with low accumulation in other tissues, except kidneys, resulting in high tumour-to-normal tissue ratios. In a therapeutic setting, myeloma-bearing mice received three consecutive intravenous administrations of a high (18.5 MBq) or a low radioactive dose (9.3 MBq) of (177)Lu-DTPA-2F8 or an equal volume of vehicle solution. A dose-dependent tumour regression was observed, which translated into a prolonged median survival from 43 days for vehicle-treated mice, to 62 days (p = 0.027) in mice receiving the low and 65 days in mice receiving the high (p = 0.0007) radioactive dose regimen, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: These results highlight the theranostic potential of radiolabelled anti-CD38 sdAbs for the monitoring and treatment of multiple myeloma. [less ▲]

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See detailBetter leukemia-free survival with allogeneic than with autologous HCT in AML patients with isolated trisomy 8: a study from the ALWP of the EBMT.
Baron, Frédéric ULiege; Labopin, Myriam; Blaise, Didier et al

in Bone Marrow Transplantation (2021), 56

The indication for performing an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HCT) in patients with isolated trisomy 8 AML in first complete remission (CR) is still debated. Here, we compared ... [more ▼]

The indication for performing an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HCT) in patients with isolated trisomy 8 AML in first complete remission (CR) is still debated. Here, we compared outcomes of such patients given either allo-HCT or autologous (auto)-HCT. Inclusion criteria consisted of adult patients with de novo AML, isolated trisomy 8, first HCT between 2000 and 2018, CR1 at transplantation, and either auto-HCT or allo-HCT with a HLA-identical sibling donor (MSD) or a 10/10 HLA-matched unrelated donor (UD 10/10). A total of 401 patients met the inclusion criteria. They underwent an auto-HCT (n = 81), allo-HCT with a MSD (n = 186) or allo-HCT with a 10/10 UD (n = 134). At 3 years, relapse incidence, nonrelapse mortality and leukemia-free survival (LFS) were 59%, 5%, and 37%, respectively, in auto-HCT recipients; 31% (P < 0.001), 14% (P = 0.04), and 55% (P = 0.033), respectively, in MSD recipients and 29% (P < 0.001), 13% (P = 0.15), and 59% (P = 0.03), respectively, in UD 10/10 recipients. In multivariate analysis, in comparison to auto-HCT, MSD and UD 10/10 were associated with a lower risk of relapse (HR = 0.47, P < 0.001 and HR = 0.40, P < 0.001, respectively) translating to better LFS (HR = 0.69, P = 0.04 and HR = 0.60, P = 0.03, respectively). There was also a similar trend for overall survival (HR = 0.73, P = 0.12 and HR = 0.65, P = 0.08). [less ▲]

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See detailAllogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation with cord blood versus mismatched unrelated donor with post-transplant cyclophosphamide in acute myeloid leukemia.
Dholaria, Bhagirathbhai; Labopin, Myriam; Sanz, Jaime et al

in Journal of hematology & oncology (2021), 14(1), 76

BACKGROUND: Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) using a mismatched unrelated donor (MMUD) and cord blood transplantation (CBT) are valid alternatives for patients without a fully ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) using a mismatched unrelated donor (MMUD) and cord blood transplantation (CBT) are valid alternatives for patients without a fully human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched donor. Here, we compared the allo-HCT outcomes of CBT versus single-allele-mismatched MMUD allo-HCT with post-transplant cyclophosphamide (PTCy) in acute myeloid leukemia. METHODS: Patients who underwent a first CBT without PTCy (N = 902) or allo-HCT from a (HLA 9/10) MMUD with PTCy (N = 280) were included in the study. A multivariate regression analysis was performed for the whole population. A matched-pair analysis was carried out by propensity score-based 1:1 matching of patients (177 pairs) with known cytogenetic risk. RESULTS: The incidence of grade II-IV and grade III-IV acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) at 6 months was 36% versus 32% (p = 0.07) and 15% versus 11% (p = 0.16) for CBT and MMUD cohorts, respectively. CBT was associated with a higher incidence of graft failure (11% vs. 4%, p < 0.01) and higher 2-year non-relapse mortality (NRM) (30% vs. 16%, p < 0.01) compared to MMUD. In the multivariate analysis, CBT was associated with a higher risk of, NRM (HR = 2.09, 95% CI 1.46-2.99, p < 0.0001), and relapse (HR = 1.35, 95% CI 1-1.83, p = 0.05), which resulted in worse leukemia-free survival (LFS) (HR = 1.68, 95% CI 1.34-2.12, p < 0.0001), overall survival (OS) (HR = 1.7, 95% CI 1.33-2.17, p < 0.0001), and GVHD-free, relapse-free survival (GRFS) (HR = 1.49, 95% CI 1.21-1.83, p < 0.0001) compared to MMUD. The risk of grade II-IV acute GVHD (p = 0.052) and chronic GVHD (p = 0.69) did not differ significantly between the cohorts. These results were confirmed in a matched-pair analysis. CONCLUSIONS: CBT was associated with lower LFS, OS, and GRFS due to higher NRM, compared to MMUD allo-HCT with PTCy. In the absence of a fully matched donor, 9/10 MMUD with PTCy may be preferred over CBT. [less ▲]

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See detailLow relapse risk in poor risk AML after conditioning with 10-day decitabine, fludarabine and 2 Gray TBI prior to allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation.
Cruijsen, Marjan; Hilberink, Jacobien R.; van der Velden, Walter J. F. M. et al

in Bone Marrow Transplantation (2021)

Patients with poor risk acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have a dismal outcome. We hypothesized that combining decitabine with a standard non-myeloablative (NMA) conditioning regimen prior to allogeneic ... [more ▼]

Patients with poor risk acute myeloid leukemia (AML) have a dismal outcome. We hypothesized that combining decitabine with a standard non-myeloablative (NMA) conditioning regimen prior to allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo HCT), might decrease the relapse incidence. We conducted a multicenter prospective phase II study (NCT02252107) with 10-day decitabine (20 mg/m(2)/day) integrated in a standard non-myeloablative conditioning regimen (3 days fludarabine 30 mg/m(2) with 2 Gray total body irradiation (TBI)). Patients with AML ≥ 18 years in 1st (in)complete remission (CR/CRi) with a poor or very poor risk profile, as defined by the HOVON-132 protocol, were eligible. Results: Forty-six patients (median age 60; range 23-74) were included. Median follow up time was 44 months (range 31-65 months). The cumulative 1-year incidence of relapse and NRM were respectively 23% and 11%. Incidence of grade III-IV acute graft-vs-host-disease (GVHD) and severe chronic GVHD were 13% and 20%, respectively. One-year OS was 70%. Application of ELN 2017 risk classification to the study cohort revealed a cumulative one-year relapse rate of respectively 31% and 13% for the adverse and intermediate risk patients. To conclude, the 10-day DEC/FLU/TBI conditioning regimen prior to allo HCT in poor risk AML patients is effective and feasible. [less ▲]

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See detailPredictors of neutralizing antibody response to BNT162b2 vaccination in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients.
Canti, Lorenzo ULiege; Humblet-Baron, Stéphanie; Desombere, Isabelle et al

in Journal of hematology & oncology (2021), 14(1), 174

BACKGROUND: Factors affecting response to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HCT) recipients remain to be elucidated. METHODS: Forty allo-HCT recipients ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Factors affecting response to SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccine in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HCT) recipients remain to be elucidated. METHODS: Forty allo-HCT recipients were included in a study of immunization with BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine at days 0 and 21. Binding antibodies (Ab) to SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD) were assessed at days 0, 21, 28, and 49 while neutralizing Ab against SARS-CoV-2 wild type (NT50) were assessed at days 0 and 49. Results observed in allo-HCT patients were compared to those obtained in 40 healthy adults naive of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Flow cytometry analysis of peripheral blood cells was performed before vaccination to identify potential predictors of Ab responses. RESULTS: Three patients had detectable anti-RBD Ab before vaccination. Among the 37 SARS-CoV-2 naive patients, 20 (54%) and 32 (86%) patients had detectable anti-RBD Ab 21 days and 49 days postvaccination. Comparing anti-RBD Ab levels in allo-HCT recipients and healthy adults, we observed significantly lower anti-RBD Ab levels in allo-HCT recipients at days 21, 28 and 49. Further, 49% of allo-HCT patients versus 88% of healthy adults had detectable NT50 Ab at day 49 while allo-HCT recipients had significantly lower NT50 Ab titers than healthy adults (P = 0.0004). Ongoing moderate/severe chronic GVHD (P < 0.01) as well as rituximab administration in the year prior to vaccination (P < 0.05) correlated with low anti-RBD and NT50 Ab titers at 49 days after the first vaccination in multivariate analyses. Compared to healthy adults, allo-HCT patients without chronic GVHD or rituximab therapy had comparable anti-RBD Ab levels and NT50 Ab titers at day 49. Flow cytometry analyses before vaccination indicated that Ab responses in allo-HCT patients were strongly correlated with the number of memory B cells and of naive CD4(+) T cells (r > 0.5, P < 0.01) and more weakly with the number of follicular helper T cells (r = 0.4, P = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Chronic GVHD and rituximab administration in allo-HCT recipients are associated with reduced Ab responses to BNT162b2 vaccination. Immunological markers could help identify allo-HCT patients at risk of poor Ab response to mRNA vaccination. TRIAL REGISTRATION: The study was registered at clinicaltrialsregister.eu on 11 March 2021 (EudractCT # 2021-000673-83). [less ▲]

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See detailMeasurable residual disease (MRD) testing for acute leukemia in EBMT transplant centers: a survey on behalf of the ALWP of the EBMT
Nagler, A.; Baron, Frédéric ULiege; Labopin, M. et al

in Bone Marrow Transplantation (2021), 56

Detectable measurable residual disease (MRD) is a key prognostic factor in both acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. Thus, we conducted a survey in EBMT transplant ... [more ▼]

Detectable measurable residual disease (MRD) is a key prognostic factor in both acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. Thus, we conducted a survey in EBMT transplant centers focusing on pre- and post-allo-HCT MRD. One hundred and six centers from 29 countries responded. One hundred had a formal strategy for routine MRD assessment, 91 for both ALL and AML. For ALL (n = 95), assessing MRD has been routine practice starting from 2010 (range, 1990–2019). Techniques used for MRD assessment consisted of PCR techniques alone (n = 27), multiparameter flow cytometry (MFC, n = 16), both techniques (n = 43), next-generation sequencing (NGS) + PCR (n = 2), or PCR + MFC + NGS (n = 7). The majority of centers assessed MRD every 2–3 months for 2 (range, 1-until relapse) years. For AML, assessing MRD was routine in 92 centers starting in 2010 (range 1990–2019). Assessment of MRD was by PCR (n = 23), MFC (n = 13), both PCR and MFC (n = 39), both PCR and NGS (n = 3), and by all three techniques (n = 14). The majority assesses MRD for AML every 2–3 months for 2 (range, 1-until relapse) years. This survey is the first step in the aim to include MRD status as a routine registry capture parameter in acute leukemia. © 2020, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited. [less ▲]

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See detailUnderdiagnosed veno-occlusive disease/sinusoidal obstruction syndrome (VOD/SOS) as a major cause of multi-organ failure in acute leukemia transplant patients: an analysis from the EBMT Acute Leukemia Working Party.
Bazarbachi, Abdul Hamid; Al Hamed, Rama; Labopin, Myriam et al

in Bone Marrow Transplantation (2021), 56

Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) is a complex, potentially fatal therapy featuring a myriad of complications. Triggering event(s) of such complications vary significantly, but often ... [more ▼]

Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) is a complex, potentially fatal therapy featuring a myriad of complications. Triggering event(s) of such complications vary significantly, but often a so-called "multi-organ failure" (MOF) is reported as the leading cause of death. The identification of the exact trigger of MOF is critical towards early and disease-specific intervention to improve outcome. We examined data from 202 alloHCT patients reported to have died of MOF from the EBMT registry aiming to determine their exact cause of death focusing on veno-occlusive disease/sinusoidal obstruction syndrome (VOD/SOS) due to its life-threatening, often difficult to capture yet preventable nature. We identified a total of 70 patients (35%) for whom VOD/SOS could be considered as trigger for MOF and leading cause of death, among which 48 (69%) were previously undiagnosed. Multivariate analysis highlighted history of hepatic comorbidity or gentuzumab use and disease status beyond CR1 as the only significant factors predictive of VOD/SOS incidence (OR = 6.6; p = 0.001 and OR = 3.3; p = 0.004 respectively). VOD/SOS-related MOF was widely under-reported, accounting for 27% of deaths attributed to MOF of unknown origin without a previous VOD/SOS diagnosis. Our results suggest most missed cases developed late VOD/SOS beyond 21 days post-alloHCT, highlighting the importance of the newly revised EBMT criteria. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment and validation of a disease risk stratification system for patients with haematological malignancies: a retrospective cohort study of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation registry.
Shouval, Roni; Fein, Joshua A.; Labopin, Myriam et al

in Lancet. Haematology (2021), 8(3), 205-215

BACKGROUND: Diagnosis and remission status at the time of allogeneic haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) are the principal determinants of overall survival following transplantation. We sought ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Diagnosis and remission status at the time of allogeneic haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (HSCT) are the principal determinants of overall survival following transplantation. We sought to develop a contemporary disease-risk stratification system (DRSS) that accounts for heterogeneous transplantation indications. METHODS: In this retrospective cohort study we included 55 histology and remission status combinations across haematological malignancies, including acute leukaemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and myeloproliferative and myelodysplastic disorders. A total of 47 265 adult patients (aged ≥18 years) who received an allogeneic HSCT between Jan 1, 2012, and Dec 31, 2016, and were reported to the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation registry were included. We divided EBMT patients into derivation (n=25 534), tuning (n=18 365), and geographical validation (n=3366) cohorts. Disease combinations were ranked in a multivariable Cox regression for overall survival in the derivation cohort, cutoff for risk groups were evaluated for the tuning cohort, and the selected system was tested on the geographical validation cohort. An independent single-centre US cohort of 660 patients transplanted between Jan 1, 2010, and Dec 31, 2015 was used to externally validate the results. FINDINGS: The DRSS model stratified patients in the derivation cohort (median follow-up was 2·1 years [IQR 1·0-3·2]) into five risk groups with increasing mortality risk: low risk (reference group), intermediate-1 (hazard ratio for overall survival 1·26 [95% CI 1·17-1·36], p<0·0001), intermediate-2 (1·53 [1·42-1·66], p<0·0001), high (2·03 [1·86-2·22], p<0·0001), and very high (2·87 [2·63-3·13], p<0·0001). DRSS levels were also associated with a stepwise increase in risk across the tuning and geographical validation cohort. In the external validation cohort (median follow-up was 5·7 years [IQR 4·5-7·1]), the DRSS scheme separated patients into 4 risk groups associated with increasing risk of mortality: intermediate-2 risk (hazard ratio [HR] 1·34 [95% CI 1·04-1·74], p=0·025), high risk (HR 2·03 [95% CI 1·39-2·95], p=0·00023) and very-high risk (HR 2·26 [95% CI 1·62-3·15], p<0·0001) patients compared with the low risk and intermediate-1 risk group (reference group). Across all cohorts, between 64% and 65% of patients were categorised as having intermediate-risk disease by a previous prognostic system (ie, the disease-risk index [DRI]). The DRSS reclassified these intermediate-risk DRI patients, with 855 (6%) low risk, 7111 (51%) intermediate-1 risk, 5700 (41%) intermediate-2 risk, and 375 (3%) high risk or very high risk of 14 041 patients in a subanalysis combining the tuning and internal geographic validation cohorts. The DRI projected 2-year overall survival was 62·1% (95% CI 61·2-62·9) for these 14 041 patients, while the DRSS reclassified them into finer prognostic groups with overall survival ranging from 45·7% (37·4-54·0; very high risk patients) to 73·1% (70·1-76·2; low risk patients). INTERPRETATION: The DRSS is a novel risk stratification tool including disease features related to histology, genetic profile, and treatment response. The model should serve as a benchmark for future studies. This system facilitates the interpretation and analysis of studies with heterogeneous cohorts, promoting trial-design with more inclusive populations. FUNDING: The Varda and Boaz Dotan Research Center for Hemato-Oncology Research, Tel Aviv University. [less ▲]

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See detailImpact of detectable measurable residual disease on umbilical cord blood transplantation
Baron, Frédéric ULiege; Labopin, M.; Ruggeri, A. et al

in American Journal of Hematology (2020), 95(9), 1057-1065

The impact of measurable residual disease (MRD) on cord blood transplantation (CBT) outcomes has remained debated. To address this issue, we assessed the impact of measurable MRD at CBT on outcomes in ... [more ▼]

The impact of measurable residual disease (MRD) on cord blood transplantation (CBT) outcomes has remained debated. To address this issue, we assessed the impact of measurable MRD at CBT on outcomes in large cohort of patients with acute leukemia. Inclusion criteria included adult patients with acute myeloid (AML) or acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), CBT as first allo-HCT in first or second complete remission (CR) at transplantation, and known MRD status at the time of CBT. Data from 506 patients were included in the analysis. Among them, 317 patients had AML and 189 had ALL. Positive MRD was reported in 169 (33%) patients while the remaining 337 patients were MRD negative at CBT. At 2 years, relapse incidence was 18% in patients with MRD negativity vs 33% in those with MRD positivity at transplantation (P <.001). Two-year leukemia-free survival (LFS) and overall survival (OS) were 57% and 60%, respectively, in MRD negative patients, vs 38% (P <.001) and 48% (P =.004), respectively, in those with MRD positivity. There was no interaction between the impact of MRD on OS and LFS and diagnosis (ie, ALL vs AML), single or double CBT, and reduced-intensity or myeloablative conditioning. On multivariate analysis, MRD positivity was associated with a higher risk of relapse (HR = 1.8, P =.003), comparable non-relapse mortality (P =.44), worse LFS (HR = 1.4, P =.008) and a trend towards worse OS (HR = 1.3, P =.065). In conclusion, these data suggest that novel strategies that are aiming to achieve MRD negativity at CBT are needed for leukemic patients with positive MRD pre-CBT. © 2020 Wiley Periodicals LLC. [less ▲]

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See detailGraft-versus-host-disease does not help acute lymphoblastic leukaemia patients with measurable residual disease
Baron, Frédéric ULiege; Savani, B. N.

in British Journal of Haematology (2020), 190(1), 22-23

[No abstract available]

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See detailGraft-versus-host disease and graft-versus-leukaemia effects in secondary acute myeloid leukaemia: a retrospective, multicentre registry analysis from the Acute Leukaemia Working Party of the EBMT
Baron, Frédéric ULiege; Labopin, M.; Savani, B. N. et al

in British Journal of Haematology (2020), 188

We assessed the susceptibility of secondary acute myeloid leukaemia (sAML) to graft-versus-leukaemia effects. Data from 2414 sAML patients in first (n = 2194) or second (n = 220) complete remission were ... [more ▼]

We assessed the susceptibility of secondary acute myeloid leukaemia (sAML) to graft-versus-leukaemia effects. Data from 2414 sAML patients in first (n = 2194) or second (n = 220) complete remission were included. They were given grafts from human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-matched sibling (MSD, n = 1085), 10/10 unrelated donor (MUD, n = 1066) or 9/10 mismatched unrelated donor (MMUD, n = 263). The 100-day incidence of grade II-IV acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) was 25% while 2-year incidence of chronic GVHD was 38%. Relapse rates declined steadily by duration of follow-up and were significantly lower in patients with chronic GVHD (P < 0·001). Limited (hazard ratio [HR] = 0·66, P < 0·001) and extensive (HR = 0·52, P < 0·001) chronic GVHD were associated with a lower incidence of relapse. Each grade III-IV acute (HR = 7·04, P < 0·001) as well as limited (HR = 1·42, P = 0·03) and extensive (HR = 3·97, P < 0·001) chronic GVHD were associated with higher non-relapse mortality (NRM). This translated to better overall survival (OS; HR = 0·61, P < 0·001) in patients with limited chronic GVHD. In contrast, grade III-IV acute and extensive chronic GVHD were associated with worse OS (HR = 3·16, P < 0·001 and HR = 1·21, P = 0·03, respectively). Further, in comparison to HLA-identical sibling recipients, MUD recipients had a lower risk of relapse (HR = 0·82, P = 0·03) but higher NRM (HR = 1·38, P = 0·004). In conclusion, these data demonstrate that sAML is susceptible to graft-versus-leukaemia effects. © 2019 British Society for Haematology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd [less ▲]

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See detailTreatment of a patient with severe cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection after haploidentical stem cell transplantation with donor-derived CMV-specific T cells
Ingels, J.; De Smet, S.; Heyns, K. et al

in Acta Clinica Belgica: International Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Medicine (2020)

Objectives: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is one of the most common complications in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (allo-HSCT) recipients. The classic antiviral treatments have shown ... [more ▼]

Objectives: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is one of the most common complications in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (allo-HSCT) recipients. The classic antiviral treatments have shown clinical efficacy but are often associated with drug resistance. Reconstitution of CMV-specific cellular immunity is essential in controlling CMV infection; therefore, adoptive transfer of CMV-specific T cells is a promising treatment option. We treated a patient with a multidrug resistant CMV infection after haploidentical HSCT with CMV-specific T cells. Methods: The T cells were derived from the HSCT donor who was CMV seropositive. We generated the T cells by a short-term Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) grade protocol in which a leukapheresis product of the HSCT donor was stimulated with the immunodominant antigen pp65 and interferon-γ secreting cells were isolated. A total of 5 × 105 T cells were administered to the patient within 30 hours after leukapheresis. Results: The patient was closely monitored for reconstitution of antiviral T cell immunity and viral replication after adoptive T cell transfer. We observed an in vivo expansion of both CD4+ and CD8+ CMV-specific T cells associated with a significant decrease in viral burden and clinical improvement. Conclusion: This case report further supports the feasibility and effectiveness of adoptive donor T cell transfer for the treatment of drug resistant CMV infections after allo-HSCT. © 2020, © Acta Clinica Belgica 2020. [less ▲]

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See detailUse of chimerism analysis after allogeneic stem cell transplantation: Belgian guidelines and review of the current literature
Delie, A.; Verlinden, A.; Beel, K. et al

in Acta Clinica Belgica: International Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Medicine (2020)

Background: Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a curative treatment option in both adult and pediatric patients with malignant and non-malignant hematological diseases.  ... [more ▼]

Background: Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a curative treatment option in both adult and pediatric patients with malignant and non-malignant hematological diseases.  Chimerism analysis, which determines the donor or recipient origin of hematopoietic cells in HSCT recipients, is an essential aspect of post-HSCT follow-up.Objectives: To review the current literature and develop Belgian consensus guidelines for the use of chimerism analysis in the standard of care after allogeneic HSCT.Methods: Non-systematic review of the literature in consultancy with the members of the BHS transplantation committee.Results: Clinical application with regards to prediction of graft failure or relapse as well as cell source are reviewed. A consensus guideline on the use of chimerism analysis after HSCT is presented.Conclusion: Monitoring of the dynamics or kinetics of a patient’s chimerism status by serial analysis at fixed time points, as well as on suspicion of relapse or graft failure, is needed to monitor engraftment levels, as well as disease control and possible relapse. © 2020, © 2020 Journal of Belgian Society of Internal Medicine and Royal Belgian Society of Laboratory Medicine. [less ▲]

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See detailAllogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplantation with anti-thymocyte globulin versus allogeneic bone marrow transplantation without anti-thymocyte globulin.
Baron, Frédéric ULiege; Galimard, Jacques-Emmanuel; Labopin, Myriam et al

in Haematologica (2020), 105

We compared severe graft-versus-host-disease free and relapse-free survival and other transplantation outcomes of acute myeloid leukemia patients given bone marrow without anti-thymocyte globulin, versus ... [more ▼]

We compared severe graft-versus-host-disease free and relapse-free survival and other transplantation outcomes of acute myeloid leukemia patients given bone marrow without anti-thymocyte globulin, versus peripheral blood stem cells with anti-thymocyte globulin after myeloablative conditioning. In the cohort of patients receiving grafts from a human-leukocyte-antigen matched sibling donor, patients given peripheral blood stem cells with anti-thymocyte globulin (n=1,021) and those given bone marrow without anti-thymocyte globulin (n=1,633) presented comparable severe graft-versus-host-disease free and relapse-free (HR=0.9, 95% CI: 0.8-1.1, P=0.5) and overall (HR=1.0, 95% CI: 0.8-1.2, P=0.8) survival. They had however, a lower incidence of chronic graft-versus-host disease (HR=0.7, 95% CI: 0.6-0.9; P=0.01). In the cohort of patients receiving grafts from human-leukocyte-antigen matched unrelated donor, patients given peripheral blood stem cells with anti-thymocyte globulin (n=2,318) had better severe graft-versus-host-disease free and relapse-free survival than those given bone marrow without anti-thymocyte globulin (n=303) (HR=0.8, 95% CI: 0.6-0.9, P=0.001). They also had a lower incidence of chronic graft-versus-host disease (HR=0.6, 95% CI: 0.5-0.8, P=0.0006) and better overall survival (HR=0.8, 95% CI: 0.6-1.0, P=0.04). In summary, these data suggest that peripheral blood stem cells with anti-thymocyte globulin results in comparable (in the case of sibling donor) or significantly better (in the case of unrelated donor) severe graft-versus-host-disease free and relapse-free survival than bone marrow without anti-thymocyte globulin in patients with acute myeloid leukemia in complete remission receiving grafts after myeloablative conditioning. [less ▲]

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See detailClinical practice recommendation on hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for acute myeloid leukemia patients with FLT3internal tandem duplication: A position statement from the Acute Leukemia Working Party of the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation
Bazarbachi, A.; Bug, G.; Baron, Frédéric ULiege et al

in Haematologica (2020), 105(6), 1507-1516

The FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) gene is mutated in 25-30% of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Because of the poor prognosis associated with FLT3-internal tandem duplication mutated AML ... [more ▼]

The FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) gene is mutated in 25-30% of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Because of the poor prognosis associated with FLT3-internal tandem duplication mutated AML, allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (SCT) was commonly performed in first complete remission. Remarkable progress has been made in frontline treatments with the incorporation of FLT3 inhibitors and the development of highly sensitive minimal/measurable residual disease assays. Similarly, recent progress in allogeneic hematopoietic SCT includes improvement of transplant techniques, the use of haplo-identical donors in patients lacking an HLA matched donor, and the introduction of FLT3 inhibitors as post-transplant maintenance therapy. Nevertheless, current transplant strategies vary between centers and differ in terms of transplant indications based on the internal tandem duplication allelic ratio and concomitant nucleophosmin-1 mutation, as well as in terms of post-transplant maintenance/consolidation. This review generated by international leukemia or transplant experts, mostly from the European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, attempts to develop a position statement on best approaches for allogeneic hematopoietic SCT for AML with FLT3-internal tandem duplication including indications for and modalities of such transplants and on the potential optimization of post-transplant maintenance with FLT inhibitors. © 2020 Ferrata Storti Foundation [less ▲]

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See detailRedefining and measuring transplant conditioning intensity in current era: a study in acute myeloid leukemia patients
Spyridonidis, A.; Labopin, M.; Savani, B. N. et al

in Bone Marrow Transplantation (2020), 55

To address limitations of the currently used reduced-intensity/myeloablative conditioning (RIC/MAC) classification scheme we aimed to develop a tool that can capture more standardized the conditioning ... [more ▼]

To address limitations of the currently used reduced-intensity/myeloablative conditioning (RIC/MAC) classification scheme we aimed to develop a tool that can capture more standardized the conditioning intensity of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). We assigned intensity weight scores for frequently used conditioning regimen components and used their sum to generate the transplant conditioning intensity (TCI) score. We retrospectively tested the impact of TCI on 8255 adult (45–65 years) acute myeloid leukemia patients who underwent HCT in first complete remission. A Cox model for early nonrelapse mortality (NRM) yielded a 3-group TCI risk scheme (low, intermediate, high) with respective TCI scores of [1–2], [2.5–3.5] and [4–6]. On multivariate modeling, TCI grouping was highly and better predictive for early (day 100 and 180) NRM, 2-year NRM and relapse (REL) as compared with the RIC/MAC classification. Validation was done on 200 bootstrap samples. Moreover, TCI scoring enabled the identification of a distinct subgroup of RIC and MAC conditioning regimens with an intermediate TCI [2.5–3.5] score that had identical outcomes and which are frequently referred as “reduced toxicity conditioning”. TCI scheme provides an improvement of the RIC/MAC classification. We propose TCI as a new tool to define and measure the conditioning regimen intensity. © 2020, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited. [less ▲]

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